The Matthew of Bristol unveils new figurehead

The Matthew's new figurehead by Nick Barnfield Image copyright Nick Barnfield
Image caption The new figurehead was commissioned by the Matthew of Bristol Trust

Tall ship the Matthew of Bristol has officially unveiled a new figurehead.

The artwork was commissioned by the chairman of the Matthew of Bristol Trust, Alderman Royston Griffey.

Located on the prow of the ship, the greyhound figure is the work of carver Michael Henderson who has created a number of other pieces in the city.

The Matthew is a replica medieval caravel built in 1997 to mark the 500th anniversary of John Cabot's voyage from Bristol to the New World in 1497.

The ship is permanently moored on Princes Wharf on Bristol Harbour.

Mr Griffey said the new figurehead depicts the White Greyhound of Richmond with a Tudor Rose badge.

Image caption The Matthew of Bristol is made from oak frames, with larch below the waterline and Douglas Fir above

"It is the emblem of King Henry VII. This is a Tudor ship, he was the first Tudor king, and as Duke of Richmond that was his symbol." Mr Griffey added.

Mr Griffey said for inspiration, the monarch granted Cabot Letters Patent for his groundbreaking voyage.

The Matthew decided to officially unveil the figurehead on 2 May, the anniversary of the original Matthew's - and the replica's - voyage to Newfoundland.

Mr Henderson has designed and carved a number of works around Bristol, including the signpost in the grounds of The Mansion House.

It points to the seven cities that are linked with Bristol and includes a medieval ship on top - the Matthew of Bristol.

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